The Seventh Continent
The Sun from Pole on 20-Sep-2004
Welcome to "The Seventh Continent", Ethan's Antarctic Home Page

To all of you who have found your way here thanks to International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Ahoy, Me Hearties!

If you found my webpage mentioned in the April, 2005, edition of "Cooking Light" Magazine. You'll find my mention of cooking Thai curry in the Antarctic here.

It's Winter at Pole). The next planes aren't due into McMurdo for months. It's dark so the EarthDial wouldn't work, even if it were set up.

Last summer's Ice Cube deployment went well - they added 13 new strings to the 8 we installed the year before. Next year's plans include at least 14 new strings.

While you are waiting on me to have time to make updates, you can see what I was up to one year ago, three years ago, and twelve years ago this month.

I was surprised be browsing through the Sunday paper in Christchurch and running across a picture of me at the Pole from July, 2004, as I posed for my 300 Club photo

Readers of the online geek comic UserFriendly might recognize me from the plot last year when the UF crew visited the South Pole.

If you've been here before, you might want to look for the most recent entries in my journal. Due to the ongoing reconfiguration of my webpage at new hosting facilities, my gallery and site search and recent modifications page are not yet working.

The feedback is also out of order for the moment. Sorry about the inconvenience.

The answer to the number one question, "how many continents are there?" is seven: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia (in decreasing order of size).




AMANDA  (external site)
IceCube  (external site)
Lake Vostok
Sunrise and Sunset Charts
The Ozone Hole
Antarctic Climate


Featured Picture

Self Portrait in Winter
Self Portrait in front of the Transantarctic Mountains, March 1995

My Photo Gallery

On Location

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
McMurdo Station
Lake Hoare


Oldest - March, 1995
Newest - July, 2006
Antarctic Slang



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Got a question about the Seventh Continent? Have a suggestion? Found a cool Antarctic link? Or, do you just want to talk about the bottom of the world? Drop us a line!


|| Living and Working on the 7th Continent

The Dome at Amunden-
Scott Station

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Perched on nearly two miles of solid ice, the South Pole station is home to 270 people in the summer but much less in the winter. This year, the winter-over population is 64, somewhat smaller than the past few years (in my last winter, 2004, there were 75 winter-overs, and in 2005, there were a record 86), but not as small as the traditional 21-28 in the days before the new Elevated Station.

The Dome, built in 1975, is getting buried too deeply in the snow to dig out every year and needs to be replaced. The new station is being brought online as parts of it are completed. The new Galley went operational at the beginning of the 2003 Winter season. The new Bio-Med, Laundry and Store were opened to the general station population at the end of the 2003-2004 Summer season, and the new Greenhouse had its first plants by mid-winter 2004. The last two pods, A4 summer housing, and B4, the gymnasium were enclosed as the 2004-2005 summer ended. About the only interior work left to do on the newest pods is the gymnasium floor. The new station has been under construction for several years with about a year left to go. Once it's done and the old buildings under the dome demolished, the dome will go, too, possibly in the 2008-2009 season. The old freshie shack and old workout room went in 2003; 2005 saw seen the demise of the old greenhouse, the old galley and the old bar; even Bio-Med is gone. As the 2006 winter began, the Annex is the first under the hammer, and the Comms demolition started around mid-winter. Science, and Upper Berthing will have their turn soon. To save power, the Dome is now completely dark.

McMurdo Station, Ross Island (February, 1995)

McMurdo Station
Sitting on the southern tip of Ross Island, 2,200 miles (3.500 km) due-south of New Zealand, McMurdo serves as the logistics hub for half the continent. In addition to the primary focus of the work here, science, a good part of the 1,000 summer residents (180 in the winter), process the thousands of tons of cargo brought in each year by air and by sea. Without this effort, there would be no Field Camps; there would be no station at the South Pole.

Lake Hoare in the McMurdo Dry Valleys

Lake Hoare in the McMurdo Dry Valleys
Out in the field, the science's the thing. The Field Camp at Lake Hoare is one of several in the region, and is the one that I had the pleasure to work at for a few days in 1995. The Dry Valleys are so called because it doesn't snow there. The terrain prevents the right conditions from occuring that permit precipitation. Lake Hoare, for example, along with Lake Bonney and Lake Fryxell, is nestled between the high walls of the Taylor valley, tucked between tall glaciers. Moist air can't clear the terrain to bring in the snow. Protected, the frozen lake systems provide an excellent opportunity to study simple life forms surviving in amazingly harsh conditions.

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Credits and Disclaimer:
The appearance of the U.S.A.P logo is meant to identify the link to the National Science Foundation's Polar Programs web site, and does not constitute an endorsement by the NSF or any other agency, educational institution, or company. Some of the content of these pages has been verified against publications printed by the National Science Foundation and by the present and former support contractors, Raytheon Polar Services Company and Antarctic Support Associates. The opinions presented here are strictly my own.
Thanks to Charlie Smith at for hosting "The Seventh Continent".


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